Mobile Veterinary Clinic starts fundraiser for K9 unit

It’s never easy for a doctor to see a patient die. It’s even harder when said patient doesn’t show any signs of sickness.

That’s what happened on June 14 when the Trumbull Police Department K9 Office Cyrus passed away prematurely.

For those who had taken care of him for the last seven years at Mobile Veterinary Clinic on Monroe Turnpike, the fallen police dog was more than just a productive member of the force — he was part of a family of animals that the office’s staff will always remember.

“He was a wonderful patient,” said Heidi Bowder, the clinic’s office manager. “It’s just very heartbreaking; it was very sudden.”

Bowder and the office’s veterinarians have teamed up with the police department to fundraise  for a new partner for Officer R.J. Carlson, who trained and lived with Cyrus before the canine died unexpectedly.

“We didn’t know he was sick or ill,” Bowder said. “We were all just very sad when we heard the news.”

Proceeds will go toward finding and training another dog for Officer Carlson, who plans to remain part of the department’s K9 unit.

The goal is to collect $13,500 but not much has been raised yet, according to Bowder.

“We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls,” she said. “A lot of people passing on their condolences but there’s something else they can do to help out.”

Specifically, they can make a tax-deductible donation by writing and mailing a check made out to the Town of Trumbull. The memo line should read “Police K9,” Bowder added.

Checks can  be mailed to the Trumbull Police Department, located at 158 Edison Road, to the attention of Chief Michael Lombardo.

“They can also bring cash or drop off the check here,” she said. “Unfortunately, we can’t accept credit cards.”  

Mobile Veterinary Clinic, which is located at 165 Monroe Turnpike, will be accepting checks until the goal is met.

The phone number is 203-261-9223.

‘Great protector’

Ask any town official or member of the police department and one thing is clear: the new police dog will a huge legacy to fill.

In his career, the Trumbull K9 assisted in making several large heroin seizures, as well as tracking dozens of missing persons.

Serving next to Officer Carlson for the last seven years, Cyrus was most recently was credited with locating 12.5 kilos of heroin during a motor vehicle stop.

“He was a great protector,” said Bowder. “He had an unbreakable bond with his handler and we know that Officer Carlson is very sad about the loss of his partner.

“But, at the same time, he’s looking forward to getting back out there with the K9 unit,” she said.

Pet preparedness

In addition to collecting checks, Mobile Veterinary Clinic will host a special fundraiser for the Trumbull Police Department’s K9 unit from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 17.

The program will focus on pet preparedness and will be presented by the Connecticut Emergency Animal Response Service (EARS).

“Are you ready for disasters or emergencies that may impact your pets? Even though pets are part of our families, many owners have not considered what is needed for them in these incidents, and planning ahead will save time and lives,” a flier for the program read.

The presentation will teach residents about the following:

  • Being prepared for the unexpected

  • Common situations here in Connecticut

  • A list of supplies to create your own pet disaster kit

  • Where to go, and what to do, if you’re faced with an emergency

  • How to handle disaster stress in animals

  • Ways you can help others by becoming an animal responder

The cost of attending the program is $20 per person will also proceeds benefitting the Trumbull Police Department’s K9 unit.

To Register Call Mobile Veterinary Clinic at (203) 261-9223.

“We’re fortunate to have EARS coming in free of charge to give this important presentation and to give all the proceeds back to our community,” Bowder said.